There are two main parts to the management of a community's environmental health program. These are:
The community council's role
This role includes:
- the management of the EHPs
- acting upon the EHPs program plans and other recommendations
- working with the EHP to help make plans and programs effective.
The Environmental Health Worker's role
This role includes:
- planning the environmental health program in consultation with the community and its council
- making sure that the plan is carried out
- doing all the routine and special environmental health jobs which are expected of him or her.
2.1 The community council's roleThe council should have a say in deciding which environmental health tasks the EHP is to do and which ones have the greatest importance.
Often the community council will have administrative staff or a coordinator to operate its regular business. The coordinator should supervise or support the EHP's day-to-day work activities.
Before an environmental health program can operate in a community, the people, through their council, must make a commitment to providing the support that is needed to get the job done well.
For any environmental health program to operate effectively, the council must provide the following supports:
OfficeThe council should provide the EHP with an office. This may be a building or a vacant room. If there is no such space then part of the community's office could be used.
Wherever the office is located, it will need to have:
- office furniture, such as desk, chairs, filing cabinet, waste paper basket, notice and planning boards
- access to a telephone. It is best that a telephone be in the EHP's office, but if this cannot be arranged the EHP will need to be able to use a telephone in the community office. Apart from an office phone, the EHP should have access to a mobile phone for when they are working out of the office
- stationery, such as paper, pens and files.
Tools and EquipmentIt is important that the council provides the EHP with the tools and equipment to do the work that is required and a secure place to store them. This could be a lockable shed or room within a building.
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A list of tools required by the EHP will be provided by the council. This may include:
- a mop and bucket
- long and short-handled shovels
- metal and grass rakes
- a crowbar
- a hammer
- a masonry chisel
- screwdrivers (small, medium, large)
- a file (half round bastard)
- a cement trowel
- adjustable spanners (small, medium, large)
- a large Stilson Pipe wrench
- multi grips
- a 100mm plunger
- a hacksaw and spare blade
- a tap reseating tool
- a set of manual operation pipe cleaning rods
- a tool box
- a wheelbarrow
- consumable items: washers, suitable 0-rings, tap gaskets, thread tape, PVC glue, grease
- pest control safety equipment: PVC gloves, PVC apron, PVC boots, lightweight overalls, cloth hat, respirator and appropriate canister, goggles
- a whipper-snipper and grass cutter may be considered
- pest control equipment and materials
- dog handling equipment such as muzzles, leashes, slip knot rope
It is the community council's responsibility to replace stocks of pesticides and other consumables as required.
You can get advice on supplies from the EHO, the Shire or from the EHP trainer.
2.2 The environmental health practitioner’s roleIn order to do the job properly, the EHP must be well organised. This means that:
- regular maintenance is done
- records and tools are stored so that they can be easily found so that they can be used when needed
- equipment and tools are kept in good working order so that time is not wasted fixing them when environmental health jobs need to be done